I’m so pleased to report that for the first time I have a print book on pre-order in the Amazon US store. Never a Gentleman will be available in print on its release day. How cool is that? Want a sneak peek at the story? Here’s page one.
Never a Gentleman
Peace and quiet and no distractions made banker Victor Knight a very happy man. He flipped the page over, made note of expected expenses of his latest investment opportunity, then patted himself on the back for finding this gem among the detritus. At this rate, he’d be done with his calculations and home before night fell. Could his life be get any better?
“May I join you, Mr. Knight?”
Victor glanced up from his business papers and blinked at the Earl of Beecroft, where he hovered beside his table in the quiet dining room of the Hunt Club. The corner of the man’s mouth curved upward as he stared. They’d had little to do with each other in past years, mostly because the earl came and went from Town rather frequently. They had spent an hour or more together earlier that day at Lord Norwich’s residence though they had not spoken at the time. Which now seemed odd to Victor and perhaps a touch rude.
Determined to be more agreeable, Victor returned his scattered papers to the folio he carried, set them behind his back on the chair to keep the contents confidential, and smiled up at the man. “Yes, of course. By all means join me.”
Lord Beecroft took the chair opposite, leaned back while a footman set a heaped plate before him. “I am much obliged to you,” he murmured. “I can’t stand sitting at a table alone when there is good company begging for more.” He then dug in without another word.
Victor glanced at his neglected plate with little enthusiasm. More than likely the meal was cold, but he made himself eat a little more just to be polite. Between slow mouthfuls, Victor studied Beecroft openly. The earl was tall and broad in the chest, rather well known about Town, and extremely easy on the eye. His dark hair curled up at his collar, a little longer than was fashionable and his clothing was first rate. He was a man of means, a heavy signet ring on his right hand and gold pocket watch fob chain gleaming brightly at his waist, but he was not at all showy like some of his class.
“A devilishly tricky business today,” Lord Beecroft muttered.
Victor glanced around them discreetly to see who might linger nearby. There was only Marcus Bright, Viscount Hambly, in sight but he was too far away to overhear this conversation. Victor hoped he kept his distance. The matter Lord Beecroft referred to had concerned the health of a Hunt Club member and thus required absolute discretion and the absence of harmful speculation on his part. Victor wasn’t about to indulge in idle gossip when it concerned the succession of both titleholder and heir of the Norwich estate. He’d been present as a witness only, as a surety that no further harm would come to father and son. He’d not been asked to do more than that small favor. “It was.”
He picked at a few of his favorite tidbits in silence, casting the odd glance at Lord Beecroft when he said nothing more on the matter. Victor had endured his fair share of odd exchanges with titled lords over the years, and he was strangely comforted by Beecroft’s silence. As Beecroft finished his meal, he called over a footman. The earl requested their glasses be refilled with claret and he sat back with a contented sigh as if he planned to stay awhile. “Lovely weather we are having lately.”
“Very warm indeed for this time of year,” Victor replied as he reached for his refreshed glass and sipped. “I cannot remember it being so warm in September.”
Lord Beecroft blue eyes creased at the corners as he smiled and the affect on Victor’s senses was immediate. It struck him suddenly that it had been ages since he’d kissed a man. “I should have begun with the weather,” Beecroft mused. “But usually that just makes me sound daft instead of impressing my companion.”